Week In Review

November 16, 2015

Employer’s work rules on confidentiality, communications, and non-work activities invalidated under NLRA
A federal appeals court has upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s finding that three (3) rules found in an employer’s handbook violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). A rule prohibiting employees from discussing matters under investigation by the employer was found to be unlawful because the confidentiality rule clearly limited employees’ rights to discuss their employment. A rule limiting the disclosure of information from the employer’s electronic communication and information systems was found to be unlawful because a reasonable employee could have read the rule to prevent the sharing of any information exchanged on the employer’s electronic communications network, thereby restricting employees’ ability to share information about the terms and conditions of employment. Finally, a rule prohibiting activities other than work during working hours was found to be unlawful because it prohibited employees from engaging in union-related activities even during breaks.

Employee not entitled to USERRA reinstatement when employed for brief period
A federal appeals court has held that an employer did not violate the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) when it discharged an employee shortly after his return from active duty. The Court found the employee was not covered by USERRA because his employment was for a brief period (6 months) and he would not have had a reasonable expectation that his employment would continue for a significant period (because he was under contract to work for 1 year). Under the USERRA, individuals whose absence from employment is due to service in uniformed services typically are entitled to reemployment. However, no statutory right to reemployment exists if the employment from which the person leaves “is for a brief, non-recurrent period and there is no reasonable expectation that such employment will continue indefinitely or for a significant period.”

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com